Kansas takes on Georgia (led by Kansas native Mark Fox) in the finals of the CBE tonight. Georgia has struggled recently but had a nice win over George Washington in the semifinals and a narrow loss to Clemson in the team’s season opener.
Georgia, thankfully, doesn’t take a ton of threes, and doesn’t shoot them great either. They’re shooting under 32 percent from deep and taking roughly as many threes as Kansas this season. They also don’t have a ton of height to bother the Jayhawks inside, and don’t play their bench a ton, meaning if the refs decide to blow the whistles with the frequency of the first two games it should be advantage Kansas.
The first thing to jump out regarding the defense is the fact that Georgia forces turnovers on just 15.3 percent of opponents’ possessions. Kansas has been pretty stingy with the ball this season, but it’s still nice to have that security blanket in the back pocket. The other thing that leaps out is defensive rebounding: Georgia lets teams grab just 19.4 percent of their misses this year, although Kansas presents an interesting challenge in that regard with Bragg and Jackson.
Players To Watch
JJ Frazier is undoubtedly Georgia’s best player. The senior guard is shooting 46 percent on twos and 44 percent from deep. He’s also drawing quite a few fouls. The key will be to not let him get all the way to the rim but not shoot open threes as well. He will certainly present a challenge to Mason and Graham.
Yante Mason has an effective field goal percentage of 61.1 percent with a usage rate of 27 percent so naturally he is going to be tough to handle. He’s shooting 63 percent on twos, and drawing 6 fouls per 40 minutes.
Derek Ogbeide is currently the 34th best offensive rebounder in the country, and is shooting 58 percent on twos. At 6-8 he presents an interesting challenge for the KU big men.
Things to Watch For
Rebounding - Kansas needs to keep Georgia (especially Ogbeide) off the offensive glass, and needs to grab a couple offensive rebounds as well.
Threes - Georgia allows its opponents to shoot quite a few threes, and Kansas will no doubt have some open ones. If they can knock them down at even a similar clip as last night, it should be smooth sailing.
Fouls - Georgia doesn’t play its bench much at all, but has 3 guys who draw quite a few of them. A tight whistle is probably good for Kansas, but not if it takes Josh Jackson off the floor for extended periods.
Fatigue will probably be a factor for Georgia due to the lack of a bench, but certainly will impact both. Kansas matches up well in that they should be able to score with the lack of pressure on the ball handlers, and Georgia not attempting threes means Kansas should have a good time defensively. Unless Frazier goes off, I think the Jayhawks will take the CBE title with a 79-67 win.